Emails show IRS’ Lois Lerner specifically targeted tea party
The Washington Times
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Lois Lerner, head of the Internal Revenue Service unit that decides whether to grant tax-exempt status, was put on administrative leave after she declared her innocence but refused to answer congressional questions about the targeting. (Associated Press)
Newly released emails show that Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the IRS scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy.
The email, released by a House committee investigating the IRS, seems to counter Democrats’ arguments that tea party groups weren’t specifically targeted.
“Tea Party Matter very dangerous,” Ms. Lerner said in the 2011 email, saying that those applications could end up being the “vehicle to go to court” to get more clarity on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules.
In another email, from 2012, Ms. Lerner acknowledges that the agency’s handling of the tax-exempt applications had been bungled at the beginning, though she said they had taken steps to correct it.
“It is what it is,” she said in the email, released Thursday by the Ways and Means Committee. “Although the original story isn’t as pretty as we’d like, once we learned this [sic.] were off track, we have done what we can to change the process, better educate our staff and move the cases. So, we will get dinged, but we took steps before the ‘dinging’ to make things better and we have written procedures.”
That email suggests agency employees knew they had gone overboard in their scrutiny — despite top IRS officials telling Congress that there wasn’t any special scrutiny of conservative groups.
In another 2012 email, Ms. Lerner seemed to take sides in a battle between the Federal Election Commission and conservative group tax-exempt groups that were engaging in politics, saying that “perhaps the FEC will save the day.”
Ms. Lerner has been removed from her post at the helm of the tax-exempt organizations division, but has not been fired from the IRS.
She asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to testify to the House oversight committee earlier this year, though committee members argue that she may actually have waived that right and should be recalled and forced to answer questions.
In releasing the latest emails, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp said they show a dangerous patter.
“There is increasing and overwhelming evidence that Lois Lerner and high-level IRS employees in Washington were abusing their power to prevent conservative groups from organizing and carrying out their missions,” he said. “There are still mountains of documents to go through, but it is clear the IRS is out of control and there will be consequences.”
Pole, there is a serious lack of ethics by the people running this country today. The citizenry are not being well served by these charlatans. I include many Republicans too. This business of defrauding the people trhough lies and disinformation is unacceptable and hopefully the public is awakening to the fact that they have been duped by these scoundrels. We have really reached a low point when candidates of this caliber and character are able to lie, cheat, and steal their way into office. No wonder they all emerge as millionaires........and the liberals have the nerve to moan and groan about the upper 1%. Hypocrites all.
Re: "Pole, there is a serious lack of ethics by the people running this country today. The citizenry are not being well served by these charlatans. I include many Republicans too. This business of defrauding the people trhough lies and disinformation is unacceptable and hopefully the public is awakening to the fact that they have been duped by these scoundrels. We have really reached a low point when candidates of this caliber and character are able to lie, cheat, and steal their way into office..."
dickw, perfect for 2001 or so (after the Supreme Court threw a bone to George W). But, of course, you are right again, WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW IS MUCH WORSE THAN the Bush-Cheney mountain of lies which among other things allowed them to launch two wars at a cost of over 5,000 of our soldiers dead and over 50,000 wounded with an ultimate cost of over $4Trillion followed by a near total melt down of the world financial system.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
'DARK MONEY' NONPROFIT POLITICAL SPENDING RESTRICTED IN PROPOSED IRS RULES
New Tax Returns Show Rove's Group Spent More on Politics than It Said
Paul Blumenthal | 11/26/2013 | HuffPost
WASHINGTON -- The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on Tuesday new guidelines clarifying the definition of political activity for nonprofit organizations.
The new rules, which still face many procedural hurdles, would limit the political activities of nonprofit organizations and help prevent political actors from using these groups to provide anonymity to donors.
Since the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling, nonprofit organizations, particularly social welfare nonprofits organized under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code and trade associations organized under section 501(c)(6), have radically increased their reported political spending. In 2012, these groups reported to the Federal Election Commission spending in excess of $300 million. That was up from $69 million in 2008 and nearly $6 million in 2004, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Much of this spending was allowed because of the lack of clear guidelines for political spending by nonprofits. The statute governing political activity by these nonprofits says that they must work "exclusively" on their social welfare purpose, but the regulatory interpretation of that statute says that "exclusively" means "primarily." The term "primarily," has been criticized since it does not specify the acceptable percentage of political spending for tax exempt groups.
To determine whether a nonprofit is engaged "primarily" in its social purpose instead of politics, the IRS uses a "fact and circumstances" test; an IRS employee determines whether a given communication or action is political or not. For years, there has been no clear guidance for what constitutes political activity.
The proposed guidelines seek to clarify the rules and reduce the IRS' need to impose the "facts and circumstances" test. They would provide clear lines to judge whether a given action is political and break down into three categories:
Communications that would be considered political include calling for the election or defeat of a political candidate; any communication mentioning a political candidate or political party within 60 days of an election; and any expenditure that must be reported to the FEC.
Grants and contributions made by the group to any political group that reports to the FEC, as well as grants and contributions made by the group to any 527 or tax exempt group that spends money on candidate-related political activity, would count as political under the new rules.
Activities closely related to an election would be considered political. These include voter registration drives or get out the vote efforts, the distribution of certain materials promoting candidates, the preparation and distribution of voter guides mentioning candidates, and holding events within 60 days of an election featuring candidates.
“This proposed guidance is a first critical step toward creating clear-cut definitions of political activity by tax-exempt social welfare organizations,” Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark J. Mazur said in a statement. “We are committed to getting this right before issuing final guidance that may affect a broad group of organizations. It will take time to work through the regulatory process and carefully consider all public feedback as we strive to ensure that the standards for tax-exemption are clear and can be applied consistently.”
The proposed guidelines do not directly address the issue of how much a nonprofit can spend on political activity, but the IRS stated that it plans on issuing further guidance on that issue in the future.
Tuesday's announcement follows a controversy that erupted over the summer when reports revealed that the IRS improperly targeted certain nonprofit groups -- both conservative and liberal -- for intensive reviews of their applications. The controversy led to many congressional hearings and the ousters of the IRS' acting director Stephen Miller and IRS tax exempt organizations' head Lois Lerner.
During the scandal, Democrats pushed the IRS to review its rules governing political activity by tax exempt organizations and to impose clearer guidelines to reduce the potential for controversy when any group's political activities are examined. Bills were also proposed by Senate Democrats to change the IRS' rules for political activity.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) brought a court case challenging the IRS' previously ambiguous rules regarding political activity by tax exempt groups.
“This is part of ongoing efforts within the IRS that are improving our work in the tax-exempt area,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel of Tuesday's announcement. “Once final, this proposed guidance will continue moving us forward and provide clarity for this important segment of exempt organizations.”
Sentiment: Strong Buy
poleo, if Lerner did anything illegal she should be nailed to the wall but the RWNJ IRS Scandal Fiasco is over as everything has now confirmed that neither Lerner nor anyone else was getting orders from the White House, so just suck it up, poleo, along with the other fiasco scandals Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Birth Certificate, the Pigford scandal, the GSA gone wild, the new Black Panthers, a Vice President who bullies the press (LOL, after 8 years of Cheney the RWNJs are trying to complain about this), etc., etc. ; OMG, get over it, poleo.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I don't know why you are so smug. Power and privilege has interfered with every attempt to investigate the scandals caused by the WH AND THE Benghazi investigation is ongoing.. You are always trying to cover up. You fit right in with the gang. It is hard to understand a man with no integrity at all.